Leveling the playing field: Investigating high school sports recruiting

Posted at 12:27 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 14:27:07-04

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    Atlanta, GA (WGCL) — Metro Atlanta schools are either forfeiting wins or dealing with allegations of wrongdoing when it comes to student-athlete transfers and recruiting.

Two football players are accused of living outside the district at Marietta High School, while Tucker and Grayson High coaches are accused of recruiting students.

“There are coaches and schools who have a lot of pressure on them to win,” says CBS46 sports director Fred Kalil.

“It isn’t fair. We don’t need people building teams,” adds Robin Hines, executive director of the Georgia High School Association, which regulates high school varsity sports.

Parents are making a move or downright fudging home addresses to get their next superstar onto a winning team.

“The parents want their children to play in college, and to play in college you have to be seen,” says Kalil.

“We’re not saying it doesn’t exist because it absolutely does exist,” adds Hines.

GHSA says when a student-athlete makes a move after ninth grade, the family must prove it was bonafide. And while the association maintains athletic fraud isn’t the norm, we questioned whether or not we really know the full scope.

Our reporting found that the GHSA relies primarily on member schools to self-report, and the GHSA admits that “we are not an investigative body,” says Hines.

There are 14 employees on staff and there’s one compliance officer, according to Hines, which raises the question: is one person enough to scrutinize and investigate the bad apples amongst roughly 10,000 yearly transfers statewide?

Our investigation began months ago after getting tips from parents of local athletes. None wanted to speak on the record for fear of retaliation or losing scholarship opportunities.

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